Yes Minster

Friday 25 January 2002

Formed in 1922, the "Minstermen" were elected to the Football League in 1929, taking Ashington's place in the then Third Division North. They moved to their current ground, Bootham Crescent in 1932.

This season has turned into a complete nightmare for City. Currently sitting second to bottom of the entire league, with only Halifax Town below them, they are very close to going out of business. In December, Chairman Douglas Craig put the Club up for sale for £4.5million. With little interest shown so far, the club have got until the end of the season to find themselves a saviour. The Board have said they can no longer afford to keep the Club going in the face of mounting debts, and will fold the club after the last game of the season.

Tuesday nights nil-nil draw at home to ten-man Rochdale means that York have now gone ten league games without a win, their last victory coming against Macclesfield in October of last year. The season started off promisingly enough with a 3-0 win at Torquay and home wins against Leyton Orient and Halifax but the season has gone from bad to worse since then. The only glimmer of light in otherwise gloomy vista has been their fine FA Cup run.

The Team

City have been playing with five men at the back and experimenting with either two or three up front. Key players include experienced keeper Alan Fettis, who has played for Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, and the strike partnership of Lee Nogan and Michael Proctor who have both scored nine goals so far this season.

Earlier this season, York announced a groundbreaking tie-up with Premiership side Sunderland. As part of that deal, City have taken youngster Proctor on a season long loan, and the promising striker has been one of the few highlights of the campaign so far.

Injury Update

Captain Chris Brass had injured his hamstring in the FA Cup draw against Grimsby, but is now fully recovered and returned against Rochdale. Matt Hocking also returned after suffering from a stomach bug, taking the place of Chris Smith. Alex Mathie is now showing similar stomach symptoms. Smith will be available for the Fulham game, his suspension for being sent-of on Saturday not starting until next month.

Lee Nogan has been suffering from an ankle knock as has midfielder Lee Bullock. Centre Back Gary Hobson suffered a facial injury in Saturday's game against Rushden & Diamonds, and keeper Alan Fettis damaged his neck, but both are expected to be fully fit.

He Wore Both Colours

Having failed in a trial at Fulham, striker Viv Busby joined local club Wycombe Wanderers before moving quickly on to Luton Town. His successful partnership with Malcolm Macdonald at Kenilworth Road saw the pair of them linked with a move to Newcastle United, but a loan spell wasn't made permanent.

Former Luton manager Alec Stock went back for Busby when he joined Fulham, and he moved to the Cottage for £25,000 in 1973 together with midfielder Alan Slough.

Busby was a fast skilful player whose goal scoring was too inconsistent to put him up with the true greats. He featured strongly in Fulham's run to Wembley, most notably scoring twice in the 2-1 defeat of First Division leaders Everton at Goodison Park. He scored one of the finest goals ever seen at the Cottage, cutting in from the wing and beating several defenders tight on the line before slotting the ball home from an acute angle.

After scoring 37 goals in 143 appearances for Fulham, he moved in to Norwich, Stoke City, Tulsa Roughnecks, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers before finishing at York City. Successful coaching spells followed at York, Sunderland, Sheffield United and Everton. A brief tenure as manager of Hartlepool did not go so well.

Busby returned for a time to Fulham to work under Paul Bracewell but now operates as the Youth Team Coach at Swindon Town.

One From The Past

In their inexorable rise to the Second Division Championship in 1998-99, one of the few blots on an otherwise magnificent home record was the 3-3 draw with York in September.

After an impressive draw against Premiership Southampton in the Cup the previous week, and up against ten men for most of the game, Fulham turned in a thoroughly unprofessional performance. Luke Cornwall made his full League debut and he and German striker Dirk Lehmann combined well up front with Peter Beardsley prompting in behind them. Cornwall it was who opened the scoring only for York to equalise ten minutes later. Coleman headed the Whites back in front, but the Minstermen came back yet again to level things up at the start of the second half.

York's Barry Jones was sent off for two yellows, and Kit Symons put the Whites back in front with one of his trademark headers from a corner. Fulham's notorious inability to finish off ten-men allowed York to pull back another equaliser, and despite some concerted pressure and an enormous number of chances, victory was not to be.

York went home happy with their point after having only three shots on target all game. In a season where Fulham swept all before them and most opposition teams turned in dour defensive performances, this was conversely one of the most thrilling matches of that campaign.

Fulham went on to beat Southampton in the Cup replay at the Dell and win the League with a record 101 points. York were relegated.